I came home only reluctantly last week. I wanted to stay longer and work, because I didn't think that I'd like being in an empty home now that Inappropriate Hot Foreign Wife and The Boy are in Brazil. Turns out, I was right. I've been completely lost without them at home. This amazes me.
I'm not a loner, but I do need a lot more time alone than most people do. So, I've got 2 weeks at my non-home of a home- this place is my wife's. My home is my ancestral turf, located just off the waterfront about 15 miles from here. This home has no memory, no character. It's a rental, so I didn't expect anything as far as homey feelings, and I was not disappointed in that vein.
So I've been drinking. Not crazy amounts at all, just more than I regularly do. If it hadn't been raining for the past 4 weeks, maybe I could get some hiking in, but there's something about climbing a hill in wet underwear. Such things should be avoided where possible. One thing of note regarding my drinking: I went to a new bar, conveniently located right next to my regular Irish bar of a hangout... you have to be from south suburban Boston to understand that there's nothing unusual about a city block with, say, 5 bars all right next to each other, none of which are in competition, or hurting for clientele.
Ever hear about the one about where an Irish family goes on vacation? They go to a different bar.
And so we did. And tending bar is one of the three girls I grew up with.
Like 90% of my friends, I am a product of the Catholic School System. This meant principally that I grew up with the same 15 boys and 3 girls in my class, from age 5 to 14. Social stunting and slight awkwardness ensued for many years, obviously.
But tending bar is Jamie, one of the famous three girls. And she's all grown up. With one or two exceptions, I hadn't seen her since I was 14. The woman in question is of Korean descent, and was always commented upon by my friends' parents as being a beautiful child. In all honesty, as an adult, she is one of the most beautiful women I've ever met.
And she's a sweetheart, turns out. We had a great time going over old times, because, naturally, all of my friends present went to school together.
Imagine that? I'm 35, but about 75% of my good, good friends are people I've known since we were 5. That's a beautiful thing.
One other thing, also a surprise- this girl at the bar still can't compare to my wife, and that's amazing. I'm neither rich nor handsome. I really got lucky.
So today was a rough day. I got some slightly disappointing news at a doc's visit, nothing urgent, nothing bad, just blah, and I luckily saved the day, happiness-wise, by hanging out with a great friend. On the way home from his house, I got rear-ended on the highway. Scared the hell out of me. I've never been in an auto accident before. It could be worse. My pickup, a simple no-frills full-sized Dodge Ram, designed only for hauling bait with low fuel consumption- (i.e, with a slightly beefed-up suspension, but a small engine), got rocked by a VW Passat.
I have a creased bumper. My back bumper got a scratch and a little dent. The passat? Everything forward of the radiator was junk, including the hood.
So here's how I scared the crap out of the already-traumatized girl who hit me:
Imagine that you're a 20-something girl in a nice little VW. You've just butt-banged a pickup in the fast lane of the highway, neatly gliding your car under the rear bumper of the truck in the process. 1.5 seconds later, a very big and definitely redneck-looking wild-eyed man shoots out of the pickup like a watermelon seed between two pinched fingers, and runs for your car.
Apparently I looked bad. The girl started backing up in the seat of the car. She put on an O-face (not the good kind), and proceeded to start to back up and over her own seatback.
I see what's going on. I am heading to the girls' aid, in case she was hurt. I am concerned, not angry. I see the girl trying to shuffle into her own backseat ass-end first. I figure out what's going on, so I slow to a walk, make the 'ok?' gesture,and wait politely about 5 feet from her car.
When the girl sees that I'm not about to eat her up, bones and all, she cranks down the window. I go over the blahblah- 'are you hurt? Did you hit your head? Are you sure you're OK? She calms right down.
A state trooper was right there. He blocked traffic whilst we got into the right-hand lanes. Very nice.
All ended well. I'm getting a new bumper, or at least a new paint-job for my bumper and a dollop of bondo. She's getting a new front end and some body panels.
You know, hours earlier, when I was putting 32 gallons of gas at $2.59 a gallon into the tank, I was wishing for my old commuting car, a very reliable and Most Gay dodge Neon.
Now, I'm happy with my truck again.
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